GetCurrentFast.com Travel Guide™
This travel guide presents the top things to do in Austin, Texas during a day trip at a leisurely pace anytime during the year. (Keep in mind the cooler months in Central Texas may be more to your liking.) Although it is filled with many practical travel tips, we wrote this guide to be “A good read even without the going,”™ so enjoy this virtual trip.
In this guide, you first visit the Texas State Capitol before touring downtown and visiting some unique museums honoring two famous Austinites. Lunch is at one of two local favorites that are also a part of presidential folklore. Enjoying dinner in this foodie haven along with checking out some of the famous Austin nightlife can complete a perfect day in this up and coming city.
“The City of the Violet Crown,” is the name William Sydney Porter gave Austin, Texas in one of his short stories. You may know him better under his pen name of O. Henry. The beloved author borrowed the phrase from the ancient poet Pindar who used it to describe Athens, Greece. And yet, when you watch the sun set over the skyline, you can see why the repurposed nickname fits.
Austin, or ATX as its known by locals, is a beautiful city situated along the Colorado River (a.k.a. Lake Austin) with a distinct and expanding skyline. It has a youthful feel; the vivacity is almost tangible in the air —and contagious. Sparkling rivers and lakes and the accompanying trails and lush parks divide the urbanity while showing off some of the glory of the Texas Hill Country. Austin is rapidly becoming one of the largest cities in the U.S., and with just one visit you can discover why so many people are choosing to live here.
Bumper stickers and tie-dyed shirts around the city sport the slogan: “Keep Austin Weird.” Though Austin is a large, dynamic, and diverse city that cannot be defined by a single word, “weird” is an understandable descriptor. This tweaking of the sensibilities of other Texans is good-natured, and has prompted another popular saying that is making the bumper sticker circuit: “Keep San Antonio Normal.”
Austin is the capital city of Texas, but is not defined by the western heritage and cowboy culture that once dominated much of the Lone Star State. Lately, the city is actually referred to as a “hippy haven.” Parts of Austin, much like Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco or the City of Berkeley across the San Francisco Bay, seem to have missed the memo that the 60’s are over. But this city is far from stuck in the past. As a rising tech hub, Austin has also earned the nickname “Silicon Hills.”
The hit television music program “Austin City Limits” has brought much notoriety to Austin which is now known as the Live Music Capital of the World®. (“Take that, Seattle and Nashville!” say those with a healthy dose of Texas pride and independence.) The claim has considerable cred.
The annual South by South by Southwest (SXSW) convention and Austin City Limits (ACL) festival both feature extensive selections in concerts and related activities. Both are widely acclaimed, and very popular. However, since these events attract the masses, consider scheduling your first trip to Austin at other times.
Still need more proof? Walk down Sixth St. any night of the week and you’ll see and hear ample proof that Austin deserves the title.
When you visit Austin, you’ll be amused at this eclectic cultural concoction: the melding of the hippy and cowboy cultures; the Live Music Capital… peacefully co-existing with both low-tech and high-tech industries; a large mural depicting the Battle of the Alamo (housed in the Capitol) in the same place that witnesses an ongoing battle of recipes, wits, and tongs between popular BBQ chefs. If this is too much for the imagination, we understand. You might just have to make a trip to Austin to understand and enjoy its wonderful quirkiness firsthand.
While you could easily spend a long time exploring all that Austin has to offer, if you have only a day, this guide helps you make the most of it, including a list of Editors’ Choice attractions and restaurants in the itinerary below.